LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JBS USA, the parent company of the meat processing plant on Story Avenue in Louisville's Butchertown neighborhood, announced Friday that it's investing millions of dollars to support its staff and improve workplace safety.

According to a news release, the investments amount to more than $200 million. Some of the money will be used for employee thank-you bonuses, with the remainder invested in equipment to enhance safeguards at its plants.

JBS USA, which is also the majority shareholder of Pilgrim's Pride, said $50 million of the money will be donated to local communities where its plants are located. 

"Since the arrival of the global coronavirus pandemic, our priority has been and remains the safety of our team members providing food for all of us," Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO, said in a written statement.

The companies are also investing in technology to fight the potential spread of the novel coronavirus in their facilities, "including ultraviolet (UV) germicidal air sanitation and plasma air technology to neutralize potential viruses in plant ventilation and air purification systems."

In April, the state reported 34 positive cases, including one death, at the Louisville facility in Butchertown.

The plant had previously released details about safety precautions it was taking to curb the spread of the virus at the Louisville facility. All JBS employees their temperatures taken before entering a facility and are required to wear face masks at all times when on company property. Additionally, JBS officials say the plant has increased sanitation and disinfection efforts, including deep-cleaning the entire facility every day.

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